Safer Places of Worship

The 5 steps of a risk assessment

Risk assessing fire hazards is strongly advised in order to comply with the law. The following 5 simple steps may assist you in considering how best to risk assess the fire hazards your organisation may encounter. If you are in doubt you should consult your local fire authority or engage professional expertise to assist you:



Identify:

  • Sources of ignition such as naked flames, heaters or some commercial processes.
  • Sources of fuel such as accumulated waste, display materials, textiles or overstocked products.
  • Sources of additional oxygen such as forced air circulation or medicinal or commercial oxygen supplies.

Consider those people who may be especially at risk such as:

  • People working in close proximity to fire hazards
  • People working alone or in isolated areas (such as roof spaces or storerooms)
  • Children or parents with babies
  • The elderly or infirm and people who are disabled.

Evaluate the level of risk in your premises. You should consider removing or reducing hazards where possible and reduce any risks you have identified, such as:

  • Replace highly combustible materials with less combustible ones.

It is good practice to record, plan, instruct, inform and train. You will need to record the hazards and people you have identified as especially at risk in Step 1 and Step 2. You should also record what you did about it in Step 3. A simple plan can help you achieve this.

Making an emergency plan, tailored to your premises is strongly advised. Including the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises will assist you in complying with the law and is good practice. Staff and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.

All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.

You should make sure your fire risk assessment is up to date, you will need to re-examine your fire risk assessment every time there is a significant change to the level of risk in your premises. This could include an increase in change in the type or number of people using your premises.

For further information and assessment forms visit the following websites.

For England and Wales

www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-5-step-checklist
www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-large-places-of-assembly

Making an emergency plan, tailored to your premises is strongly advised. Including the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire in your premises or any adjoining premises will assist you in complying with the law and is good practice. Staff and occasionally others, such as volunteers or members of the congregation will need to be provided with instructions.

All employees should receive adequate information and training about the risks in the premises. Some, such as fire marshals, will require more thorough training.